An automotive battery charger is very similar to a mobile phone or laptop charger, plugging into an electrical outlet at one end and connect to the car battery terminals with cables such as jumper/ boost cables. Like a mobile phone charger, car battery chargers deliver a consistent flow of power, allowing it to recharge or maintain the charge of a vehicles battery and discharging when complete
Car batteries require 12-volt DC type current to charge and electrical outlets put out 120-vol AC type current. Battery chargers convert the 120-volt AC current drawn from an electrical outlet to a 12-volt DC outlet.
Car battery chargers come in a variety of amp-hour (Ah) ratings, which mirrors their strength and how quickly they can charge a battery. Amp rating often range from as little as 0.75 Amp to over 100 Amp.
A car battery typically has 48-amp hour rating while smaller vehicles like motorcycles, jet skis, and snowmobile have 20 Ah or lower.
A car battery charger is ideal to maintain a car’s battery charge on a vehicle that is not used regularly or for a vehicle with a fragile battery, for example. If the vehicle battery is consistently failing and discharged, it is expected the battery would need replacing.
Often as car battery chargers normally take numerous hours to charge a battery, they are not ideal for emergency or time crucial situation, for example a car not starting before a journey. This is typically due to cold weather or the battery being drained by a feature of the veichle being left on overnight or prolonged periods.